Cinema Cindy Reviews ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’

‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’

Movie poster for ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel. Courtesy Reel Deal Theater

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” director Wes Anderson’s latest cinematic romp, is all that we’ve come to appreciate about Anderson’s films (“Moonrise Kingdom” and “The Royal Tannenbaums”, for example), only better.

It is vastly entertaining, rich in minute visual details, and presenting a surprising scene at nearly every turn. The film earned four chilies (out of a possible four) from the Santa Fe New Mexican’s Pasatiempo magazine last week, which tells you it can please the harshest of film critics.

Visually, it is stunning, colorful, playful and exciting. Yet, its “R” rating is deserved for language and oblique references to particular subject matter not relevant to the story. (In point of fact, would a hotel concierge in 1932 really have used the F-word in public?) But if one is old enough to see the film and can overlook these annoyances, these would be 100 minutes of your time well-spent.

Set in a rundown “ruin” of a once grand hotel in a fictional eastern European country, the story (within a story, within a story) celebrates the grandeur of the great European hotels of the late 19th century, which eventually lost more than their sparkle. Hotel guests in the 1932 of the core narrative were living out an old world fantasy, their innocence overshadowed outside the walls by nascent regimes reminiscent of the players in World War II.

Still, this buddy movie pits a naive lobby boy (played by newcomer Tony Revolori) with a compellingly charming, yet somewhat sleazy concierge (Ralph Fiennes). Throughout the film, familiar faces pop up F. Murray Abraham, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, and Jude Law play other key roles, and Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, Bob Balaban and others add to the fun.

When the film ended, a friend sitting nearby said, “I don’t know why, but I really enjoyed that.” And that just about sums up the film. This is a funny, silly, feel-good movie, a zany caper with a proliferation of extreme characters, but, in the end, not a lot of depth. You may still be smiling an hour later, but this one may not stick with you much longer than that.

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